International

Argentina, Chile Suspend Lollapallooza Due to the Coronavirus

Lollapalooza
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Fans gathers in front of Main Stage 1 during Twenty One Pilots performance during the first day of Lollapalooza Buenos Aires 2018 at Hipodromo de San Isidro on March 29, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Edition in Brazil, set for early April, is still up in the air.

BUENOS AIRES — Promoters in Argentina and Chile have postponed the Lollapalooza festival set for both countries later this month, citing concerns over the coronavirus.

Promoters said the events would be rescheduled for the second half of 2020. The fate of Lollapalooza Brazil, which is set for April 3-5 in São Paulo, has not yet been announced.

"For reasons of public knowledge related to coronavirus, I inform you that Lollapalooza will not be held in San Isidro on the scheduled dates: March 27, 28 and 29," Gustavo Posse, the mayor of San Isidro, a suburb of Buenos Aires where the event was set to take place, said Thursday. "The festival will be rescheduled," Posse said in a message on Twitter.

Also Thursday, Lollapalooza Chile said in a tweet: "Facing this unprecedented situation, our highest priority is to maintain the health and safety of the public, artists and our teams and abide the preventative methods of public and health authorities."

The lineup for both editions included Guns N’ Roses, Travis Tritt, The Strokes, Lana Del Rey, Martin Garrix and Gwen Stefani, among others.

The postponements come as promoters in Argentina have suspended live musical concerts in and around Buenos Aires for the foreseeable future in the latest effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

And they also come as Chilean promoters have been confronting a spate of street protests since October from marchers pushing for constitutional reform to address what they perceive as widespread inequality in the Chilean economy.

The Argentine economy is in its third year of recession with inflation running at more than 50%, among the highest levels in the world. The federal government is struggling to keep on top of the more than $100 billion in public debt, making tourism an important source of dollars for the economy. The suspension of music events, which are highly popular in Argentina, could push the economy deeper into recession.

The decision to call off Lollapalooza came after Argentine President Alberto Fernández suggested on Wednesday that all large-scale gatherings in the near term would be canceled or suspended to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 21 people and led to one death in the country. The measures include a requirement that all people flying in from countries with large outbreaks, including China, Europe and the U.S., must go into quarantine for 14 days. The government has also suspended the awarding of visas for travelers from coronavirus-hit countries.

"Whoever breaks the quarantine will be denounced for committing a crime against public health," the president said Wednesday in an interview with the local cable news network C5N. "We have to take extreme measures."

On Thursday, Fernández called on people to be responsible, saying that suspending large-scale gatherings is the right thing to do to keep the virus under control in Argentina. "It is an issue that, if we treat it seriously, we can control it," he said on Radio Mitre.

On Thursday, the city of Buenos Aires, a hotspot for concerts and festivals, suspended all events. "We are going to ban concerts, events with a large concentration of public," Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said in a news conference. Axel Kicillof, the governor of Buenos Aires province, is poised to follow suit by signing a decree to suspend events including Lollapalooza, Argentine state news wire Telam reported, citing unnamed people within the provincial government.

With the suspension, Maroon 5, which performed in nearby Montevideo, Uruguay, on Tuesday, won’t be able to play a scheduled concert in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

Other upcoming shows that are suspended include Lindsey Stirling on March 23 and Metallica on April 18. Colombian reggaeton singer Karol G and Argentine rapper Cazzu had been due to play this Friday and Saturday.

Argentine pop artist Tini Stoessel also had a show scheduled later this month, but she and her band will go into quarantine after arriving home from a European tour, according to a tweet by Movistar Arena, where she was to play in Buenos Aires.

Coronavirus